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UNC Men's Basketball and Alvin Ailey Dance Theater Partner in Original Short Film from Myriad

BrandStorytelling + Myriad

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Video Agency Myriad recently collaborated with Carolina Performing Arts, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and UNC Men’s Basketball on an original short film. Featuring dancer Michael Jackson Jr. and basketball player Caleb Love, the film highlights the melding of worlds between athletes and artists.

In 1977, Marquette basketball coach Al McGuire first coined the term “The Big Dance” as a nickname for the NCAA basketball tournament. In this video, Myriad used that as a frame to draw parallels between basketball and dance, following the elite basketball player Caleb Love and the world-class dancer Michael Jackson Jr. as they prepare for a grand performance—the big dance.

This parallel can be seen in an early mood board below.

The origins of the film's idea lie in the childhood of Alison Friedman, Executive and Artistic Director for Carolina Performing Arts. She was a dancer and her brother was a basketball player.

From an early age, she saw the similarities between the two art forms, and as Artistic Director at CPA, she knew a video could easily bridge cultures and illustrate the commonalities between artists and athletes.

"Our ultimate goal is to bridge cultures and illustrate the commonalities between artists and athletes."


Myriad used match cuts as a technique to further this parallel on screen.

A dribble at the foul line becomes an arabesque. A pirouette morphs into a spin move. A jump cuts with a leap, climaxes with a dunk, then lands gracefully on the floor. The dancer mimics basketball moves, such as a layup or shaking an opponent. The basketball player moves his feet as if dancing. We move in close for granular shots of beads of sweat and dilated pupils.

"It's a thrill to leap into the world of Carolina basketball through this video highlighting the skill, grace and power that athletes and dancers have in common."


By showing the intense training that each must endure, the preparation that each must take, and the determination that each must possess to excel at what they do, we understand that these two are one and the same. There is art in athleticism and athleticism in art.

For Caleb Love, it was the first time he had done a film like this. For Michael Jackson, Jr. it was a time to watch Caleb's moves and improvise his own movements. One working off the other to create a symbiotic visual.

The video premiered before a crowd of 21,000 in UNC's Dean Smith Center during their January 7th game versus Notre Dame (which they won 81-64!).

Sometimes it's hard to get an idea out of your brain and into the real world. For this project, it was easily done with a group that had so much invested in the topic. In addition to Alison's childhood connection, several Myriad employees were fans of both UNC and Notre Dame (who were the opponents at the premiere) and also basketball players themselves.

"The team was laser focused and had one shot to get it all. It was alchemical."


The film has continued to perform online, garnering about 15k views across all platforms.


Read more about the full campaign from Carolina Performing Arts, UNC Basketball and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Learn more about video production agency Myriad.


About Myriad

Myriad is a digital video agency based out of Raleigh, North Carolina. Their expertise is finely-honed video production skills backed with fresh ideas, in-depth strategy, and seamless client services. After decades of working with Fortune 1000 clients on everything from episodic series, to one-off videos— the studio has become deeply adaptable, offering video animation services, commercial video production, video marketing services, non-profit production services, and more. Though based in Raleigh, NC, Myriad offers services in New York and other national markets.


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